Unless you’re a Portland Invisalign patient, everyone’s favorite October holiday – Halloween – provides more tricks than it does treats this year. Since October is National Orthodontic Health Month, it’s only fitting to remind patients to consider trading off their candy for cash or other healthy treats.
With all the excitement free candy brings on Halloween, it’s easy to get carried away on a sugar rush and forget just how big a risk most treats represent to the health of your teeth and orthodontic appliance. Kids are encouraged to avoid the temptation of eating their hard earned treats this year, and focus on the long-term ghoulish impact this season can have on their oral health.
While it might not make us the most popular house of the block, your Portland orthodontist at Senestraro Family Orthodontics asks that patients remember the cavity-causing effects and potential damage to their braces eating hard, sugary Halloween treats can have.
We especially want to remind kids with braces to be extra cautious about the treats they eat, because some types can become easily stuck between their brackets and braces, causing serious damage to their devices.
So patients can better protect their braces, aligners and other types of orthodontic appliances, while also protecting the health of their teeth from tooth decay, we would like to provide a few helpful tips:
- Avoid sticky situations with your aligners and braces. Stay away from chew, crunchy, sticky or hard candies or snacks. These types include jelly beans, bubble gum, taffy, licorice, gummies and caramels.
- Say no to hard treats. This includes hard shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, potato chips and popcorn. And you should never chew on ice, regardless of whether you have braces or not.
- Make sure to brush. Sugar causes cavities, which means patients need to remain committed to brushing and flossing daily, especially during the Halloween season. Whenever an orthodontic patient consumes starchy or sugary foods, they need to remain especially vigilant about the need to brush and floss.
- Not all Halloween candy is forbidden. The types of candies on the ‘OK list’ include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups and other types of candies that easily melt in your mouth. You can also eat cookies, Sweet Tarts, M&Ms and Three Musketeers.
- Stay committed to protecting your oral health. Staying away from hard, sticky treats before Halloween will make it easier to resist temptation this time of year.
Sticky candies like gum, fruit chews and caramels should always be avoided while wearing braces. Children can offer to trade these types of candies with the siblings and friends to get only safe candies. When in doubt, kids should always ask their parents if a type of candy is safe for them to eat.
Even if you’re not a Portland Invisalign patient, Halloween can still be a fun holiday for kids. Having braces does not take away from any of the excitement that comes from trick-or-treating. It just means making a few small sacrifices about the types of candies you enjoy this year in order to enjoy a lifetime of healthy, great looking teeth.